'Temptation Island' recap: The couples start to get to know the single men and women
By Elizabeth Kwiatkowski, 10/10/2019
Temptation Island debuted with four established, committed couples arriving to a resort where 24 eligible men and women awaited them and were ready to date during Thursday night's premiere on USA Network.
Season 2 of USA Network's Temptation Island will follow four dating couples at a pivotal time in their relationships in which they must decide whether to stay committed to each other for the rest of their lives or go their separate ways.
The couples -- who were at a crossroads in their relationships -- traveled together to a tropical paradise, where they'd be given the opportunity to live the "single life" in attempt to determine whether or not being single is exactly what they want.
The stakes were high and hearts were on the line, but each exclusive couple seemed pretty confident their bonds would outlast and conquer any temptation. However, everyone was taking a great risk.
The Temptation Islandbroadcast began with viewers being introduced to the four couples -- who would be separated into separate houses for the men and the women.
Ashley Howland, a 25-year-old dental assistant, and Casey Starchak, a 25-year-old in online sales, lived in Deland, FL, and had been dating for a year-and-a-half prior to the show.
It was love at first sight when they met on social media and the couple recently moved in together. They said they have fun together and are allowed to be goofy with one another.
But Ashley left her life behind in Maine and joined Casey's social circle, so he was hoping she could grow and develop a life of her own outside of their relationship.
Ashley also struggled to trust Casey because men had cheated on her in the past. She worried whether she was enough for a partner, and Casey also used to be a big partier.
Casey didn't want to have to pay for other men's mistakes, and he often thought about the fun, single life he left behind.
Ashley Goldson, a 30-year-old store manager from Boston, MA, and Rick Fleur, a 32-year-old model from Mattapan, MA, had been dating for four years on and off prior to the show.
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Ashley loved how sweet Rick was to her, and Rick appreciated his girlfriend's "vibrant personality."
However, Ashley had once discovered Rick flirting sexual things to another girl, and Rick owned up to cheating.
The couple once broke up but then Ashley found herself ready to give the relationship a shot after about a year. Ashley wanted Rick to put a ring on it, but Rick admitted he was "a commitment phobe" and wanted to let loose and have some fun in his adult years since he had a very strict upbringing.
Ashley, however, believed she and Rick were meant to be together.
Kate Griffith, a 34-year-old sales consultant, and David Benavidez, a 28-year-old software sales representative, lived in Hoboken, NJ, and had been dating for three years prior to the show.
The former rival sales executives turned lovers had a long-distance relationship for a couple of years, but then she decided to uproot her life and move for David.
Give Kate is six years older than David, she was naturally ready to get married and welcome children, however, their relationship was progressing slower than she had hoped.
Kate said she and David fought because David had difficulty being vulnerable and opening up about his feelings.
While the pair remained loyal and faithful to each other throughout their own relationship, Kate had been married and divorced once before and she had cheated on her then-husband. Kate and David therefore had some trust issues.
Esonica Veira, a 30-year-old former Miss Virgin Islands, and Gavin Rocker, a 26-year-old in private security, lived in Decatur, GA, and had been dating for a little over one year prior to going on the show.
Esonica called Gavin good-looking, funny and smart, while Gavin loved Esonica's personality and kind heart.
Gavin wanted to test whether Esonica was the right girl for him because she was ready to get engaged. Gavin, however, was afraid to make a lifelong commitment because he only wanted to get married once.
Gavin also admitted to being unfaithful in the past, and so Esonica had some trust issues. Esonica wanted to commit to being honest, but she was prepared to commit to being more trusting.
The four couples were then shown arriving on Temptation Island after a boat ride and meeting host Mark L. Walberg.
Everyone was a little nervous and scared. Ashley G. was afraid about what her boyfriend was going to do, while Ashley H. was concerned Casey was going to be tempted as well.
Casey had never had a serious relationship before Ashley H., so his past angered her sometimes. However, Casey didn't think it was fair his past constantly came back to hurt him.
Mark hoped all of the couples would find the answers they needed on the island.
The ladies then parted from the men and moved into a house. The men also checked out their own villa.
The four couples got settled in and then met the singles -- 12 men and 12 women -- who would be competing for their hearts all season long.
Kate felt "sick" to her stomach as the singles walked in and she kept swearing over what was about to happen.
"It's like a dream that started off good and slowly turned into a nightmare," Gavin whispered to his girlfriend.
The group was introduced to Payton, a 23-year-old bartender from Greenville, SC, who likes to stir things up; Ben, a 25-year-old site manager and former Sniper in the Army from Tempe, AZ; Toneata, a 23-year-old model and former Miss Oregon USA from Los Angeles, CA; and Dominique, a 29-year-old entrepreneur and inventor from Marina Del Rey, CA.
Next up was Kari, a 29-year-old administrative assistant from Collingswood, NJ, who was followed by Deac, a 25-year-old entrepreneur and comedian from Naples, FL, and Medinah, a 30-year-old podcaster looking for her prince from Atlanta, GA.
Kareem, a 27-year-old financial consultant from Queens, NY, gave his speech next, and then Rachel, a 25-year-old swimsuit designer from New York, NY, said hello to the group. On her heels was KB, a 36-year-old realtor from Long Beach, CA.
Kate started wondering if she and her boyfriend had made the right decision or whether they were playing with fire.
But Rick said his girlfriend knew what she was getting herself into when she had signed up for this show.
Casey insisted, however, he was "zero percent worried" about Ashley H.'s behavior on the island.
Once the single ladies were welcomed into the guys' villa, Gavin joked the ladies looked so much better in person that they did from far away the previous night.
Meanwhile, KB pointed out that girlfriends want to be wives, and he seemed to take an immediate interest in Ashley G. But Jose, a 25-year-old restaurant owner from Sherman Oaks, CA, was also very attracted to Ashley G. and put some moves on her.
Ashley G. found herself very comfortable around Jose because he had a great vibe and energy that was similar to her own. Ashley G. said it was "dangerous" to have Jose in the house with her.
And Kareem sat down and had a serious conversation with Esonica.
The guys were also getting to know all of the beautiful women. Gavin said Toneata was very flirtatious, and she did admit she connected with him the most.
As for Casey, Payton seemed interested in him. And Ben sparked up some flirtation with Ashley H.
Kari found herself drawn to David, especially since they were both from New Jersey.
Everyone seemed to have a great time at the mixer and open up to the singles on the show.
Later that night, the four couples enjoyed a dinner together so girlfriends and boyfriends could reunite.
Ashley G. pointed out how KB wanted to have a family soon and get married, which lined up with her goals in life. And Gavin apparently made the choice to bring Esonica to the island but he realized he missed her and was thinking about her a lot.
Ashley H. had been cheated on in all of her relationships, so she was out to prove not all men act that way.
Casey anticipated the process being easy when the show began, but he admitted things would become "worse and worse" for him, meaning it would get harder and harder to be away from his girlfriend.
Ashley H. and Kate broke down into tears over the thought of their guys potentially leaving them.
After dinner, the couples had to say goodbye to each other, and it would mark the last time they'd be together until the finale of the show. Temptation Island's host pointed out this might be the last time a couple would ever see each other.
Ashley H. cried about how she wasn't attracted to any of the single men, and Kate got emotional while talking to her boyfriend about how he was such a catch and she didn't think she'd be able to find better.
Kate wanted David to make the right decision, but she feared the worst. Ashley G. was also regretting asking Rick to do the show.